Can Gluten Make You Gain Weight?

Can Gluten Make You Gain Weight?

Society has become more progressive today. But that does little to change the fact that overweight people are still frowned upon. In fact, people who are even slightly chubby are forced into thinking that they need to lose weight to stay healthy. Being overweight is a problem that the individual needs to address. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are overweight, but that should not serve as an incentive for you to do absolutely nothing about getting away from the obesity zone. The first step towards reducing your weight or preventing yourself from becoming overweight is to identify foods that will make you fat.

Gluten Intolerance Vs Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten is a protein that is found barley, wheat, rye and other food sources. Food additives are known to contain gluten as well. The reason why gluten is used in baked items is because it makes the dough more elastic and sticky. One of the most important things that you need to learn about gluten is that it is not very easy to digest. In fact, some people cannot digest gluten (and are referred to as gluten intolerant individuals). Gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity are two terms that you may have heard quite often. It is common for people to think that both words have the same meaning, whereas they don’t. Gluten sensitivity can be deemed as a much milder version of gluten intolerance. People with gluten sensitivity can digest gluten, but are likely to experience discomfort in the digestive system as a result of consuming gluten containing foods. If gluten containing foods are regularly consumed, then the person is very likely to suffer from abdominal pain, anaemia, fatigue, diarrhoea and other undesirable symptoms of gluten sensitivity.

Gluten Consumption Can Affect Healthy People As Well

The consumption of gluten and its effect on human health should concern everybody, including those who have no sensitivity to gluten. The reason for that is because gluten consumption is a potential cause of weight gain. Also, studies have showed that cutting down on gluten containing foods or removing gluten containing foods can promote weight loss to a certain extent.

Factors that Contribute to Gluten Related Weight Gain

a) Insulin Resistance

Foods that contain gluten share a lot of chemical and physical properties. For example, gluten containing foods have a high glycemic level. This means that the blood sugar level in the body is raised significantly when you consume bread, cakes, cookies and other baked goods. Once the sugar content in the blood is increased, the body immediately responds by making the pancreas release the hormone, insulin. The function of insulin, as you are probably aware, is to lower the blood sugar level.

Regular consumption of food with high gluten content causes the cells in the body to become overloaded with insulin. The rate at which glucose is stored in the body is either stopped or drastically slowed down. The body basically builds up insulin resistance. Once this happens, it becomes nearly impossible for fat loss to take place. Foods enriched with gluten contain a special sugar binding agent called lectin. The group of lectins bind to the insulin receptors and this gives rise to insulin resistance.

b) Leptin Resistance

The sugar binding agent or proteins known as leptins can also lead to a condition called leptin resistance. Leptin is a very important hormone in the body that sends a signal to your brain whenever your stomach is at full capacity or near full capacity. The action of the leptin prevents you from consuming more food as you start to feel “full”.

If there is too much leptin in your body, then it is going to become leptin resistant. As a result, the signals sent to the brain about your stomach being at full capacity are stopped or slowed down. Because of this, you keep consuming food despite being full. Once a person starts consuming more food than necessary (on a regular basis), it is inevitable for him or her to become overweight (unless the person has an abnormally high metabolism rate or has an extreme workout routine).

c) Inflammation

Inflammation is another factor that causes gluten to make you fat. The consumption of gluten can lead to inflammation in any tissue of your body. One of the biggest problems caused by inflammation is fluid retention. As your body continues to retain more fluid, you start gaining weight. Inflammation is also known to stall fat loss.

d) Reduced Nutrient Absorption

The consumption of excessive amount of foods that contain gluten has been linked to the reduction of nutrient absorption. Basically, the presence of gluten inhibits nutrient absorption and prevents the cells of your body from being supplied with essential nutrients required for growth, repair and metabolism. The body becomes less efficient at losing fat when it is deficient in vitamins and minerals.